Why project management could be the career for you

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So you've got your A level results. Perhaps your mind is full of grades and nothing else. Once you know how you’ve done, it’s time to start thinking about your next steps.

Perhaps you know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life, but chances are, you don’t. You may have applied to university, you may not be sure if it’s right for you. You may not have got the grades you needed. The important thing to remember is that, whether you’re sure or unsure, in your university or not – there’s always another opportunity.

Project management is a brilliant example. As we enter an exciting period of change in the world of work, project managers are becoming VIPs in many organisations. Whether you’re leading on digital transformation projects, skyline-changing construction work, or scientific research that could save many lives, project management matters.

You can also get into project management through several routes– including apprenticeships. Here are five reasons why a career in project management might be for you:

  1. The salary

The average salary of a project professional in the UK is £47,500, according to the latest Salary and Market Trends Survey 2019 by the Association for Project Management (APM). Joining APM and becoming a member (MAPM) can also help your earning potential, as it shows you have trusted skills and qualifications. It gives you a better chance of landing larger – and better paid – projects.

  1. The job itself

The project management profession can take you to a lot of places. You can work on genuinely life-changing stuff. But day-to-day, it’s also different. It’s fast-paced, involves working with different teams, and there is a clear output for everything that you do. You can make a real difference in your organisation.

“I really enjoy all aspects of project management as a career,” says junior project manager for Lloyds Bank, Sohail Khan, who did an APM apprenticeship. “Project management does not let you be complacent. It's a role where you're always improving and you’re developing your skills. Every day is a new challenge…There's never a dull day, which is always good because I like to be busy.”

  1. You can make a difference

Interested in technology? The tech sector is built around ongoing projects. Want to save lives? Project professionals oversee medical research. How about the environment? There are a number of ongoing projects across the world that aim to improve humanity’s environmental footprint.

Everything you do in project management is geared towards making other people’s lives better. A product development project, for example, improves the experience for your organisation’s customers. An internal technology project might ease the pressure on certain teams. A construction project could bring more homes and amenities to a town. Four out of five project professionals are satisfied with their work and career.

  1. You can work in different industries

Every industry needs project professionals. Around one in 12 people in the UK work in a project related role, according to APM’s Golden Thread research. Interested in law? You could become a project manager within a legal profession. Project management is a key element of film and television production. Games development is all about project management. You could work on amazing engineering projects. With project management skills, the world’s your oyster.

  1. You can start young

Sohail Khan was 21 when he started his project management apprenticeship at Lloyds. While it felt daunting at first, he quickly took to his project management role. “It just gives you that confidence that you do know what project management is about, you do know what you're doing.”

Within 18 months, he was a fully qualified project manager. Almost 20% of the project management profession is made up of people in the first two years of their career. And the sector is growing.

Find out more information on starting your career in project management here.

Mark Rowland

Posted by Mark Rowland on 15th Aug 2019

About the Author

Mark Rowland is a senior writer on the Project editorial team. He has worked as a business journalist and editor for 15 years, and has won awards for his writing and editing. He has also worked in project and product management, overseeing the launch and continuous development of new websites and publications. Project is the official journal of the Association for Project Management (APM).

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